As a new trademark law goes into effect today (May 1, 2014) in
China, this is a good time to evaluate your level of
protection. If you do business in China or plan to, there are
a few things you should know. Even if your company name,
slogan, logo, or product names are registered in the United States,
you should separately register your trademarks in China.
Chinese trademark rights are given to the first company to
register a mark, regardless of who used the mark first. There are
many instances where Chinese companies have registered the marks of
U.S. companies. If someone else registers your mark in China,
you could be prevented from not only selling into China but also
from exporting branded merchandise out of China if you manufacture
there. One benefit of the new trademark law is that your
contractual business partners like distributors or manufacturers
are now prohibited from registering your mark out from under you.
Even so, the prohibitions only protect the original brand owner in
limited circumstances, and it may be costly to try to recover a
Ultimately, the best defense is a good offense. If you
want to do business in China, it is advisable to proactively
register your trademarks.
Jennifer concentrates her practice on designing and implementing
intellectual property protection plans, enforcing intellectual
property assets, and drafting and negotiating software licenses and
a variety of technology agreements. She prosecutes trademark and
copyright registration applications and handles domain name and
Internet content disputes, as well as negotiates and drafts
contracts that implicate intellectual property or technology
As a native Chinese speaker and writer, Connie effectively
counsels both foreign and domestic clients. She concentrates her
practice in the areas of intellectual property law and health care
law. She is a registered U.S. patent attorney with medical and life
science experience who focuses on patent prosecution and counseling
in the areas of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical device and
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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